Where Was This In Cult-Mad 60/70's?
|Took Years, But I Finally Found Touch Of Evil at Low End|
Zugsmith Zooms as Welles Wilts
I had for long time challenged the notion that Touch Of Evil was "dumped" by Universal to bottom of double-bills, seeking instance where Orson Welles' last American-directed film got buried beneath other attractions. Finally came amusement pages from
Zugsmith and Welles hit it off, had in fact much in common, but like most OW ties with producers, this one would be broken. Could it have been the letter sent by Welles to a British film journal (picked up and re-printed by Variety) in which he excoriated Universal and supervisory staff? Or maybe Zugsmith simply ran out of patience, as had others like Desi Arnaz who tried to help Orson regain
High School Confidential came out on Blu-ray from Olive. It looks great, is in Cinemascope, and has camp and drug scares enough to whoop up any campus gather, if indeed, there are still such things. I remember when Reefer Madness was all the hipster rage, but that one got dull in a hurry, and it took toke-pass through the rows to rev up runs. So where was High School Confidential during all this? Did colleges run this purest fix of all? I just checked Twyman, Films Inc., Swank, and Audio-Brandon catalogues from the 70's and didn't see High School Confidential in any of them. MGM distributed Zugsmith's independently made feature in 1958, but Metro would not retain the negative. It would revert to Zuggy, who evidently put quietus on further circulation (I couldn't even find television availability for the
Just the title is a hook, let alone its glossary of wise-off phrases, some I'd like to retain ("Why don't you go play in traffic"), others better wiped from memory. The casting is all-star by measure cultists would apply, Russ Tamblyn insufferable up to point we realize he's undercover for vice-busters, though unmasking as a narc might cost his character votes among present-day iconoclasts (and who'd look at High School Confidential except ones at least pretending to that?). John Drew Barrymore, before his own wig-out and desert wanderings, is quite good as junior exec of dope dealers, his recite in hip terms of the